Are you complaining your power away? Probably.

Complaining is like vomiting your personal power away. Sure it feels good to a degree, but objectively what is it saying about you. What does it say about who or what is in control of your life? Certainly not you at that moment. There is of course, a helpful way in which to get something off your chest, but deep down we know the difference between venting and spewing our victimhood on anyone in earshot.

So your rent to too high or your job has terrible benefits. Sure that sucks, so let’s acknowledge that, again that sucks. No problem with shining light on a less than ideal situation. What happen when we shine that light there repetitively? This becomes that habitual negative chatter we call complaining. Before you know it, you have just handed over your power in the situation to your landlord, your boss, or whomever you are blaming for these injustices. Who wants to give their power to the landlord who is ripping them off or to that corporation who does not give a shit about anyone’s personal well being? Well, the reality is, many of us do anytime we start giving our energy to things we have no intention to take action on or responsibility for.

The basics of complaints can usually be broken down into two situations:

(1) You are unwilling to take any responsibility or action. “My rent is too high and I am not going to do shit about it. I could find a new place to live, but I would rather sit in self-pity as this landlord steals all my damn money”.

(2) You are actually incapable of changing a situation but can’t accept that. “My partner snores every night I just wish he would stop. It so hard to sleep..” He won’t stop. Get over it or leave him or sleep in another room or buy some damn earplugs.

Empowered people don’t complain. Why? Well.. that would be assuming the role of victim and an unwillingness to work with the reality you are presented with. Successful people (however you define that) accept the reality they are presented with and use their skills and capabilities to create from there. Victims whine and wait for the situation to adapt to their needs. It won’t.

Now let’s be clear, I am not shaming complainers, we have all been there at times and will be there again. But some of us lose so much by living in the habitual state of complaining and victimhood. This is a fast method to keep you stuck and feeling like a negative sack of worthlessness. That might sound extreme, but I am sure many of us have fled the scene of a deeply negative person for more positive ground. The only energy complaining attracts is more negativity and complainers (think of gossip parties). It’s a cascading effect that leaves you empowered to further entrench your victimhood. Not a great place to step into your personal power and capability.

I just had the realization I might be complaining about complainers. In an effort to not fall into the trap I just described, I have a few suggestions on how to hold onto personal power and identify when useless negativity arises.

  1. Become aware of when others around you are complaining. Once you identify this, kindly tell them to shut their mouth and have them read this post. Okay,  you probably won’t do either of those (I would not suggest the former), but it is often easier to identify others complaints before our own. Check in with yourself when you hear this complaining and assess how complainer is being received. Also, check in and see how it feels to receive this.

  2. Create self-awareness of your own complaints. Now you have some awareness on the impact and habits of other's complaints, now take some time to catch yourself in the act. What are the circumstances, who are the players, and where is your power going? Your body is also a good indicator of when you are diving into negativity. Check for heaviness in your face, downturned shoulders, or a general sense of ickiness.

  3. Take on the persona of the kickass version of you! What would the badass version of you do in this situation? Would they complain OR move on OR take some action. Your ex has a hot new partner, bummer, I can acknowledge that. Now get over it, go to the gym, do something that moves you towards the future you want to create. Reject the victimhood and adopt the perception and stature of the empowered version of you.

  4. Do something or nothing! Your options are to CHANGE IT or GET OVER IT. Again, there is nothing wrong with acknowledging a situation is hard through venting, but if the venting does not exhaust the flame of frustration you need a better option before your stray into a minefield of complaints. Feel empowered to take the situation on your terms and not let external circumstances dictate your own well being.

So there you have it, complaining is a bore and a habit to get beyond. You may find you lose certain friends and have less tolerance for negativity, but guess what? You the get to spend your time surrounded by positive empowered people who are taking a lead role in their lives. Think what you can create from there!